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OSC Subproject C: Greenhouses

Organic greenhouse production

While cold winters provide Canadian agriculture a natural advantage in terms of pest control, it also greatly shortens the growing season affecting yield potential and crop selection. Season extension has been identified as an important need for increasing the competitiveness of Canadian horticultural farmers.

Greenhouse production has its challenges, however, namely the cost of heating, development of growing mediums, soil fertility management, and control of pests and  diseases. The science activities under the greenhouse project of the OSC are a direct result of needs expressed by industry partners, who have provided significant funding and in-kind contributions to support this research.

This project will identify solutions to make organic greenhouse production in Canada more competitive and profitable including activities that: identify growth enhancers and supplements that reduce disease and pest incidence, improve quality and productivity, develop growing mediums and fertility amendments for organic production, develop innovative solutions to increasing energy efficiency, and develop lighting solutions that will allow continuous, year-round production of organic vegetables.

The activities that make up the greenhouse subproject are:

  • Activity C.1: Crop nutrition for vegetable plant propagation
  • Activity C.5: Development of an organic greenhouse growing system for tomato that improves energy use efficiency and reuses the crop effluent as nutrient solution
  • Activity C.6: Development of an organic greenhouse system for intercrop tomato and extended sweet pepper crop grown under supplemental lighting for year-round locally-grown fruit production
  • Activity C.7: Feasibility of using geothermal energy as heat and humidity control for an organic greenhouse tomato crop
  • Activity C.8: Optimizing fertilization and irrigation management for a closed greenhouse organic tomato growing system
  • Activity C.9: Production of organic cuttings and pot plants